: WIFI Extended Range Device Opinions
Jun 22nd, 2012, 01:50 PM
We have a summer home, and would like high speed access. Because we only use this home occasionally, we don't want to install it on a full-time basis.
Our neighbour has graciously offered us access to his high speed connection via his wifi router. Even though our house is close enough to his to see his wifi network, we can only get a really good connection from our upstairs bathroom. Ideally, we don't want to all huddle around the toilet to access the internet :)
I was thinking I could extend the neighbour's wifi by adding an extender device in my house, where I can see his connection, and hope the extender can expand the signal to the rest of my house.
Has anyone out there any experience in this type of setup? Any recommendations on devices I should look at?
Or maybe there is another way to do this that I haven't thought of yet.
Any hints/tips/tricks is greatly appreciated.
Jun 22nd, 2012, 01:58 PM
Get an Airport Express to act as a wifi repeater, although any old Airport router will do it. You may have to use Airport Utility 5.6 as extending using the latest software, 6.0, may not be possible nor as transparent. To do this with an Airport Extreme, I called Apple and they walked me through it based on my devices. You may need an in-warranty AppleCare computer for this.
Jun 22nd, 2012, 03:25 PM
Have a read for some suggestions:
How To Extend Your WiFi Network Range [MacRx] | Cult of Mac (http://www.cultofmac.com/112951/how-to-extend-your-wifi-network-range-macrx/)
Jun 22nd, 2012, 03:34 PM
The OP wants to extend someone else's network, not his own.
To do this, you'll need to know a bit more about your neighbour's setup as a starting point. Repeaters and range extenders from different manufacturers don't always play nicely together. Perhaps it's as simple as moving your neighbour's router to be closer to your place? Ideally your neighbour would have an Airport Extreme and you could use an Airport Express at your end to extend the range.
Jun 22nd, 2012, 03:45 PM
All the same thing. The only difference being that one of the devices will be in their cottage.
Good point about brand compatibility which can rear its head at times.
Or maybe try the cheap antenna mod:
Parabolic Templat (http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template/)
Image:Router_antenna_front.jpg - wikiHow (http://www.wikihow.com/Image:Router_antenna_front.jpg)
Jun 23rd, 2012, 02:34 PM
All the same thing.
It's not all the same thing, because most of the information in the article you linked to addressed network configuration that could only be done by the OP's neighbour (or at least with information about the neighbour's network).
However, the antenna idea may be worth looking into. I have heard mixed things about their effectiveness.
If it was me, I would try to work with my neighbour to extend the footprint of the network (using some of the tips in that article) and in exchange, foot the bill for any new hardware that might be required.
Jun 23rd, 2012, 03:21 PM
I was going to suggest the same thing about any new equipment but have no idea of what they have presently.
Cheap wi-fi routers, repeater or extenders are not the best solution if the distance between them is great, and for the better units a higher gain antenna is often available.
Or even try a Cat 5 or Cat 6 ethernet cable between the two cabins if they're within the max 100 meter distance. It's pretty cheap and usually more reliable than wireless. ;)
Jun 23rd, 2012, 03:28 PM
Here are more links
Q. How can I connect two computers that are 1 km away, without a cable? | CanadaRAM: Memory and Computer Q&A (http://www.computer-answers.ca/2011/internet-networking/q-how-can-i-connect-two-computers-that-are-1-km-away-without-a-cable/)
Its better to have both ends obviously but you can improve the reception single-ended by installing a directional antenna on the receiving end only
WiFi Antennas | Directional Wireless Antenna Products (http://www.radiolabs.com/products/wireless/directional-wireless-antenna.php)
Jun 25th, 2012, 09:57 AM
Thank you all for the replies, I have lots of info to read through and things to consider.
At this time, I do not know what my neighbour has for equipment, but I am 99% sure none of it is Apple based. Last time I saw him and we talked about sharing his connection, we were outside just chatting, and the only info he passed along to me was the wifi password to connect.
So my plan is to go over visiting with a case of beer in hand, and explore what he has, where it's located, and if there's anything I can provide to boost the connection in my direction. I already offered to pay a portion of his connection (sort of a lump-sum donation toward his monthly costs), but he refused.
We're planning to be at the house this weekend, so I will provide an update early in July on what I end up doing.
Jun 25th, 2012, 12:05 PM
How far apart are the cottages? I've used the WindSurfer WiFi antenna's linked to above and they work very well for boosting signals and cost pennies to make out of metal pie plates.
Depending on what they have for a router you should be able to find a matching WiFi range booster that would be installed at your cottage to connect to and rebroadcast the signal. I would match brands as they usually don't play well with other brands despite what manufacturers tell you on the box :)
As always though nothing beats a hardwired connection and long ethernet cables are cheap at monoprice.com etc.
Jun 25th, 2012, 05:11 PM
So my plan is to go over visiting with a case of beer in hand, and explore what he has, where it's located, and if there's anything I can provide to boost the connection in my direction.
I had suggested a contribution towards networking equipment, but of course nothing really beats beer!
Jun 26th, 2012, 12:42 AM
Jul 13th, 2012, 12:45 PM
I just wanted to update on my progress and what I did.
I picked up one of these:
NetGear Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender (WN2000RPT-100PAS) : Other Networking - Future Shop (http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/netgear-netgear-universal-wi-fi-range-extender-wn2000rpt-100pas-wn2000rpt-100pas/10168298.aspx?lang=en-CA&pcname=&sku=10168298&path=8eb39301309539d4225813610f03f721en02)
From the sun porch, which is the closest to the neighbour's cottage (about 50 feet) I installed this Netgear extender and connected to the neighbour's WIFI.
I setup the extender with its own unique network SSID and secure password, and connect my Mac/iPhone/iPad to it.
I am able to use this connection anywhere in my house, with a very strong signal, good download speeds, and fair upload speeds.
I asked the neighbour if he has noticed any performance in his network, and the response was "no, I can't even tell you are using it at the sometime as me".
As for the extender, it was dead simple to setup, and management/configuration is all done through the web browser. The power cord is about 6' in length, which allows me to move it around the room (shelf/desk/window ledge) easily to find the ideal spot where connection is best. It even has a connection LED which turns Green/Yellow/Red depending on the connection to the WIFI.
The only word of caution, is because this is simply an extender, my file sharing is accessible from the neighbour, as well as any devices I was to install (printer, etc...).
Anyway, just wanted to provide an update.
Jul 13th, 2012, 01:44 PM
It sounds like a nice setup, a nice neighbour and a nice extender, and Netgear makes some pretty good products.
But you should be able to setup your Sharing pref pane to restrict and password protect if needed, both your file sharing and printer sharing options.